Saturday, September 28, 2013

CSA Week 17

Time is flying by... and here is Week 17's CSA Share.. 

Its not quite as full as some of the earlier shares have been but its still a nice bag for sure. 

We got a nice large Spaghetti Squash, Red Fingerling potatoes, Kale, Red Tip Leaf Lettuce, and some Hot Italian Peppers.  
There was a nice bag of apples, yellow, chocolate, & green bell peppers, slicing onions, a bag of Yummy Orange Peppers, a head of garlic, a nice bag of green beans and 4 nice looking tomatoes. 

I've been picking up my girlfriend Cheryl who gets a weekly share too and today was no different. 
M'honeychild C lives next door to Cheryl and she had 3 of my SortaGrand-kids for the day so I stopped in to chase, tickle, hug, & smooch on em!  

 I offered them a bite of veggies & fruit and they picked Yummy Orange Peppers and apples so Im a few shy in the picture.   After I took the picture, I realized one of the Yummy Orange Peppers has a tiny bite out of it.. haha..  Someone must have put one back after a bite.  :)

I havent decided what I'll do with my share this week but Im sure I'll come back & let you know sometime during the week.  Maybe.  ;) 

Have a great week!

CSA Week 16

Well.. I just crazy busy last week... but the good news is.. I still took a few pictures so you can see what I was up to! 

Here is my weekly CSA Share for Week 16!  Its a beauty! 

 In addition to the CSA Box.. I ordered a bushel of Slicing Onions, a half bushel of Roma Tomatoes, and 2 pints of Ground Cherries.

How gorgeous are those babies??  Whoohoo!

Where to start...   Ground Cherries..  I've never had them!  Have you?

 They have a cool papery husk that are very similar to tomatillos but much smaller. Most of these are about the size of my pinky fingernail. They're slightly fragrant, sweet, and have a light essence of pineapple.
M'honey said they didnt taste at all like pineapple to him.. Maybe mango?  Actually.. I think they smell and taste like Ground Cherries.  ;)

Once these babies were husked, I had just over 2 cups of them.  I used a handful one day in a juiced smoothie I made and the rest are still sitting on my table waiting for me to do something with them.
I plan on making Ground Cherry Jam today..  Definitely a small batch but thats ok.. I honestly dont eat much jam, jelly, or preserves, but I do enjoy making them.

Onions!!  Who doesnt love French Onion Soup?   Oh, dont answer that!!   I adore it & so does everyone in my home with the exception of M'honeychild JC.  Hes a finicky 24 year old boy. Its a texture thing for him.
He doesnt like mushrooms either... silly boy!

Using a little more than half of a box, I got 16 pints of French Onion Soup after cooking it most of the day!  It cooked low & slow... Yum!
I had a bowl & so did M'honeychild C..  She takes after her mama in a lot of ways and loving French Onion Soup is one of them.

   To make the French Onion Soup, I needed beef broth or consomme' and didnt have any on hand.  I was even almost out of Beef Bouillon which I normally keep loads on hand so I went hunting in my freezers and located a nice size package of scraps & leftovers from a Beef Tenderloin I bought a few months back and also a package of beef bones and scraps from a rib roast.  Yum!  I simmered these in a large pot of water for the entire day, adding onion, garlic & parsley.  The meat fell off the bone and after simmering all day long, the broth was flavorful and rich.  I removed the meat, split up the broth & made the French Onion with some of it & a few days later I made Vegetable Beef Soup with the rest of the broth, the meat, canned veggies and a few extra veggies for added flavor.  Then I canned those babies up & got 17 jars canned & a quart & a pint left over for the frig.  I love having soups on my canning shelf. Its just so darn convenient!

 A few other ways I used up some of my CSA produce this past week was to make an awesome
  Peach Cobbler by Paula Deen!

 This doesnt look exactly like hers because I used a half cup of Gluten Free Flour because I was out of regular flour! I couldnt believe it.. When did THAT happen?   I plan on making it just like this again sometime. It was out of this world & Im not a huge peach fanatic.  Thats saying something!  Yum!

M'homey loves his pork chops with slices of onion simmered slowly on the stove top.. so thats what he got and I just steamed the green beans.  With beautiful fresh green beans like this, you dont need anything else to make them special.. They were HEAVENLY!  They sure arent anything like those poor canned creatures they also call green beans.  (wink wink)

We also had Surf & Turf With Organic Rice Pilaf & Broccoli one night and I simply steamed the gorgeous broccoli we got last week.. It was so tender and so good.. There is nothing better than fresh fresh veggies, just lightly steamed & spritzed with a touch of butter or margarine.  I drizzled Melted Garlic Butter on the broccoli since I'd made a tub of it for the crab legs.. Yum!  This is one of my top 5 favorite meals of all time.

I canned up 8 quarts of tomatoes this week too.. Im not sure how it happened, but I dont have one picture of it. :)    Shocking, huh.  ;)   I also juiced up some of those peaches along with a few cherry tomatoes, a hand full of the kale, some pear juice, carrots, celery, and....a hand full of those ground cherries.  It was really tasty!  I need to use my juicer more.. I really enjoy it. 

 Well thats it for Week 16..   Hope you enjoyed a look inside my world!

Friday, September 20, 2013

CSA Week 15, Manicotti, Figs, & Salsa

Im falling behind on posting my weekly post..  Imagine such a thing.  Its amusing in a way...

None the less.. Here is last Saturdays pick up!   It was a beautiful box!

As you can see there, there are 2 bunches of rhubarb but thats not what I got this week.  As I was leaving the pick up location, another gal asked me & my friend Cheryl if either of us would like to trade her rhubarb for something..  I jumped on it..  Sure I would..  How about 2 nice sized  kohlrabi?   She was happy to trade..
She said she'd never used rhubarb and really didnt know what to do with it..  I sure do. ;)

 Rhubarb Pie!


I tossed the blackberries in the freezer..  Mainly for smoothies but I ran across a recipe last night for blackberry port jelly that I think Im going to have to try... Oh dear.. oh sigh..

I made a recipe from my friend Didi from Dishin With Didi. with some of that celery..  I will tell you.. Im not really fond of Eggplant, however she makes a killer Roasted Garlic Eggplant Manicotti  that you MUST try.

Not only did I love it the first time around.. I made it again.. and made an extra few containers to put in the freezer to have on another day when Im in the mood for something yummy but not in the mood to cook.
Here is a picture of my plate... Oh Yum!! 


My girlfriend Tammi came over to share how she makes the BEST Pasta Sauce M'honey says he's ever eaten..  We took off to the store & $80 and 8 hours later.. we had one GIANT sized pan of lasagna..

There was extra sauce left over so I canned it up and got 4 quarts to put on my pantry shelf!

M'honey came in one day this past week & told me.. "I think your figs might be ripe!"


Oh YES!!  Those baby's were ripe & ready for me to eat!!

These are Chicago Hardy Figs.  I planted this one bush last midsummer.. It grew like a weed before the winter came and I wrapped hay around it along with another covering over that over the winter.

It didnt freeze all the way to the ground so it had a head start this year.
I've read that after 2 or 3 years it gets more & more cold hardy and Im hoping thats so..
I couldnt believe how many figs it got on its second crop and I was afraid they wouldnt  ripen before the cold weather got here.. Thankfully, I now know they'll ripen in time.  I've been enjoying fresh homegrown organic figs for the last 2 weeks.
I even shared 2 of them.. haha.. ;)

I hope this baby gets HUGE & I get so many figs on it that I'll be able to make fig jam, figgy pudding, and have more than enough figs to share with friends & family.

M'honeyChild C tried one and declared that it was actually pretty good.. She was surprised. :)
 Someday, we'll have all the figs we can stand.. and then some.. I hope.

 Finally, yesterday I decided I needed to do something with my basket of tomatoes that were ripening.
It was a tough decision as to what to make with them but I finally decided to make a quick salsa.
 I had a few red jalapenos from my garden on the table and I had cilantro in the freezer so it just seemed like the right thing to do.
This batch has a medium heat.. You dont even really realize its warm until you stop eating it.. Then you get a nice not too hot burn in your mouth for another 5 minutes..  Yum!  Good stuff, Maynard! 

The few peaches left are sitting on my kitchen table.. but Im tempted to make peach jam..
We'll see what happens with them in the next few days..

I need to slice up the rhubarb and put it in the freezer for Rhubarb Pies come this winter.. That'll make M'honey so very happy.

So there ya go.. thats what I've been up to this week!
Have a great weekend & I'll see you soon!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

CSA Week 14

Oh dear!  I lost a week!   I cant believe I didnt post Week 14 yet!

Saturday and Sunday were crazy busy days..  Thats my story & Im sticking to it!  

I got up early on Saturday morning, showered and got dressed for a wedding..  then hit the road to pick up my veggies & those of my friend who is now out of the hospital and at home!  Yay!  Shes doing well, by the way! 

I picked up the veggies, dropped her's off at her door, picked up my daughters room mate and ran home to meet up with the rest of the family & hit the road to Eastern Ohio for an early afternoon wedding and evening reception..  

I didnt even take my photo until I returned home late that night around midnight..  I was determined to get a photo on Saturday.. haha. 

Here is the bounty! 

Beets, kohlrabi, celery, bunching onions, romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, baby baker potatoes, 9 gorgeous tomatoes, slicing onions, blackberries, green bell pepper, 3 Carmen red peppers, 6 beautiful peaches & 4 chocolate sweet peppers..   

A gorgeous bag indeed.  My favorite of all are the Carmen red peppers..  They're sweet as candy & I just ate every one of them out of hand as a snack..  Yum! 

I canned the beets with others I'd been saving, Im fermenting the kohlrabi into pickles, we ate the potatoes as slow skillet fried (only 1 T of olive oil) potatoes with some sausage & my homemade sauerkraut..  I've eaten another of the chocolate peppers and I stuffed the green pepper along with others I had and cooked half of them & froze the other half for a meal another day..

I sliced & froze the top half of the celery..  I love using it in cooking in the winter.. 

The blackberries got put in the freezer for blackberry smoothies.. I find I prefer them that way... I love blackberries but I dont love the seeds in my teeth..  My VitaMix purees the seeds so they arent an issue for me anymore...

I havent done anything with the tomatoes yet.. Im waiting for this weeks bag hoping there will be another good sized bunch coming.. I'll can them up into something if there are..  maybe make tomato soup or V8 juice.. Yum! 

I made a nice sized pot of tomato soup one day last week and canned some of it up to use over the winter. 
I dont eat store bought canned cream of soups because of the wheat they put in them.. so I just made my own.   
M'honey & I had a nice bowl of tomato soup & a grilled cheese sandwich for supper that night.. what was left, I canned.   I got 2 pints & 8 half pints of tomato soup & I canned up 4 pints of beets in the same canner batch...  I could have just water bath canned the tomato soup but since I was pressure canning the beets, why not add them to that..  The beets timing was just 5 minutes more than what the soup was so they were fine together at the longer canning time... 

Here are a couple other things Ive canned in the last few weeks..   

Remember the bushel + of pears I got from our niece Maureen? Pears from Maureen

I made Old Fashioned Pear Preserves & Pear Slices in Heavy Syrup.  Yummy Yummy in my tummy! 

I juiced the remaining pears yesterday and got 4 quarts of pear juice..  I need to strain them to lose some of the pulp and I'll either can it or M'honey will drink it quite quickly!  :) 

Have a wonderful week!